‘Pro-Romanoff’ crowd greets candidate

U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff makes a stop at Main Street Bagel in downtown Grand Junction this afternoon. Romanoff was in Delta this morning and will be on the Western Slope today campaigning for the Senate seat.

Andrew Romanoff isn’t Michael Bennet.

While that may be why some Colorado Democrats are supporting the former House speaker as their party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, a handful in Grand Junction who came to see Romanoff speak here said they did so because they support the man himself.

“It isn’t a matter of being anti-Bennet, but pro-Romanoff,” said Gil Fuller, a Grand Junction dentist who, along with about two dozen others, came to Main Street Bagels to hear the Denver Democrat speak about how he would represent the state in Congress.

“I came because I wanted to see for myself if he was more oriented toward Colorado citizens than big business,” Fuller said. “He is, that’s why I plan to support him now.”

Completing a five-city swing through the Western Slope on Monday, Romanoff talked about everything from health care to illegal immigration to Afghanistan.

Along the way, he also answered questions about why Coloradans should make him the state’s newest senator over Bennet, who was named to the seat by Gov. Bill Ritter in January after Ken Salazar was appointed secretary of the Interior.

“Most of the folks I’ve talked to, and I’ve probably talked to about 10,000 people in the last 12 weeks, are supporting my campaign not because of anybody else’s shortcomings so much as my strengths,” Romanoff said. “I think a lot of people are feeling frustrated with the pace of progress in Washington. A lot of folks I’ve talked to from both sides of the aisle are puzzled, to put it kindly, by the inability of politicians in Washington to deliver on the promises they made during their campaigns.”

Others have followed Romanoff through his eight years in the Colorado House and thought Ritter should have named him to the Senate in the first place.

“He has a responsible work record in the Legislature, and he earned the right,” said Todd Hildebrandt, a deputy district attorney for Mesa County. “I wish Ritter had appointed him to the Senate.”


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